Cabbie’s Curios: Victorian Relief

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Cliffords Inn

Just off of Fleet Street,tucked between Chancery Lane and St Dunstan in the West church runs a little alley named ‘Clifford’s Inn Passage’.

Northern entrance to Clifford's Inn Passage Northern entrance to Clifford’s Inn Passage

Now overlooked by streams of commuters this quiet thoroughfare once held a greater purpose in that it formed the main entrance to Clifford’s Inn of Chancery, one of several institutions which, until the 17th century, provided a centre for training barristers.

Clifford's Inn hall picture in September 1934, shortly before its demolition (image: London Illustrated News) Clifford’s Inn hall pictured in September 1934, shortly before its demolition (image: London Illustrated News)

By the 19th century the lane leading to this forgotten relic had morphed into a dark and claustrophobic little haunt… exactly the sort of place where a Londoner, having made merry in the surrounding multitude of taverns and gin palaces, would drunkenly stagger for a pee.

'Sunday in London'... debauched London in 1834 by George Cruickshank ‘Sunday in London’… the debauched capital in 1834 by George Cruickshank

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